I will being this grant to fund the creation of a mixed media poetry and embroidery chapbook titled, "Redroot" that explores the Native American history of Ann Arbor. In undertaking this project, I hope to honor my ancestors by bringing visibility to our community and its unique struggles. I also hope to give the people of Ann Arbor some historical context for the land we occupy. I live on Washtenaw Avenue. I grew up on Seneca Street. My sister goes to Huron High School. These places are named for the original inhabitants of this land, yet most of us know so little about them. This erasure is so severe that many erroneously believe that Native Americans are extinct or only live on reservations. It is my hope that this chapbook can shed light on the history of American Indians in Ann Arbor as well the modern complexities of being a Native American living in Ann Arbor, and in the United States of America, today.
My poetry has been published in literary journals such as Crab Orchard Review, Cream City Review, and Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and often deals with the themes of racial identity, colonialism, and womanhood. I plan to conduct research at the Bentley Historical Library, Washtenaw County Historical Society, and Ann Arbor Historical Foundation to ensure that my work is historically accurate. The embroidery portion of this chapbook is also a direct link to my heritage, as I will use various traditional stitches and techniques to convey what Ann Arbor may have looked or felt like pre-colonialism. The chapbook will be published online for free and 200 physical copies of the chapbook will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis to Ann Arbor residents. The embroidery pieces will be framed and likely displayed at one or more local businesses, which gives the community different ways to engage with this project and makes it accessible to all.
Funded by Ann Arbor, MI (August 2020)